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2018 Election

Libertarians Nominate Candidates at State Convention



Kash Jackson (second from left) meets with attendees of the 2018 Illinois Libertarian Convention. Photo credit: Kash Jackson

Libertarians from across Illinois gathered in Bloomington on Saturday to select candidates for November’s election.

The first contest was for Governor. Three people were seeking the nomination: Grayson “Kash” Jackson, Jon Stewart, and Matthew C. Scaro. Each was given a chance to speak.

Jackson elaborated on his slogan, “Restoring Freedom to Illinois” with quotes from America’s founders, Ben Franklin and James Madison, and a message of unity. “I do not see color, I do not see race, and I do not see political affiliation. My job is to be the vanguard — to willingly step into the fray for the common American. Wherever Constitutional freedoms are ignored, maimed, and disallowed, I will be there to hold those who attempt to strangle us with the yoke of such heinous acts… I will hold them accountable for their misdeeds.”

“My goal is to restore the balance between government and the rights of every citizen.”

Next up to the podium was Jon Stewart. He emphasized his pragmatism, 25 years of political experience, and positive relationship with the media. “We need to send out not just the best Libertarian to the public of Illinois, but the best overall candidate in general who can win in November.”

Last was Matthew C. Scaro. He told the crowd that freedom is something they are born with, not granted to them by the government. “I’m running for governor of the state of Illinois, but the truth is I don’t want to govern you. You all govern yourself just fine. I am here to govern the government itself. I am here to take away that power that they wield over you, that money that they steal from you every day.”

Voting began after the speeches. Candidates were required to receive a majority in order to win. The rules stated that if nobody received a majority, the candidate with the fewest votes would be removed from the ballot and a new round of voting would commence until someone got more than 50%.

In the first round, Jackson received the most votes with 47.6%. Scaro had the fewest votes which disqualified him from the next round of voting. Before the second round began, Scaro gave a concession speech and urged his supporters to support Jon Stewart.

The second round resulted in a tie vote, something which shocked many in the audience. Both Jackson and Stewart had 49.58% of the vote. One person voted “none of the above.” At that point, State Chairman Lex Green told the audience they would continue voting until there was a winner — even if that meant going 36 rounds.

Before the third round began, candidates scrambled to get their supporters in the room. The rules required that all voting members be physically present in the room once the ballots started being distributed. 126 people voted in the third round, which was 5 more than had voted in the second round. 64 was deemed the majority.

Kash Jackson won the third round with 65 votes (51.57%). Stewart received 56 votes (44.44%). Four people voted “none of the above” and one person did not vote. Stewart gave a concession speech followed by a speech from Jackson.

“For every naysayer that tells you their vote doesn’t matter, you were here when history was made and you got to see where one vote matters. Your vote matters.” Jackson promised that the Libertarian Party would get over 5% of the vote in the general election. 5% is the threshold at which a political party becomes an established political party in Illinois. It is a goal that third-parties aim for.

After that came the Lieutenant Governor race. Sanj Mohip and David Earl Williams III faced off. Mohip easily won with 72.95%.

There were also uncontested races.

Mike Leheney was selected for Treasurer.

Claire Ball was selected for Comptroller.

Bubba Harsy was selected for Attorney General.

Steve Dutner was selected for Secretary of State.

That means the Libertarian Party could have a a full slate with a candidate in every statewide contest.

Their next hurdle will be to collect 25,000 signatures, a number 5 times higher than is required of the Democratic and Republican parties.

Petitioning starts on March 27th and lasts three months.

2018 Election

Illinois Constitution Party Selects William J. Kelly for Governor



Photo courtesy of

Last Saturday, the Illinois Constitution Party met in northwest Chicago for their annual state convention. The main order of business was to pick nominees for governor and lieutenant governor. William J. Kelly was nominated for governor and Chad Koppie was nominated for lieutenant governor.

Kelly previously announced his intent to run as a Republican, but ultimately decided not to. Kelly ran for Comptroller in the 2010 Republican primary. He finished second, behind Judy Baar Topinka and ahead of Jim Dodge (this year’s sole Republican treasurer candidate).

Chad Koppie has also sought political office. In 2016, he ran as the Constitution Party’s write-in candidate for U.S. Senate.

Kelly’s announcement to run for governor came as a shock to some people following the Constitution Party. Prior to his announcement, it was assumed that Randy Stufflebeam was going to be the nominee. He announced his intent to run in late 2016, but changed his mind due to unforeseen circumstances. Stufflebeam ran as a write-in candidate for governor in 2006.

Kelly’s nomination was peculiar not just because of Stufflebeam’s decision to not run, but also because he was neither a member of the Illinois Constitution Party nor physically present at the convention. Despite the circumstances, he was nominated with a set of conditions.

  1. He must become a member.
  2. He must sign an affirmation or oath stating that he understands and will uphold the party’s platform.
  3. He must give confirmation within 7 days of the convention.


On Thursday, the Illinois Constitution Party’s Facebook page put out the following statement.



Chicago, Illinois – March 15, 2018 – Randy Stufflebeam, Chairman of the Constitution Party of Illinois, has issued the following statement regarding the race for Illinois Governor:

“Based on the latest polls, it looks like two billionaires – one Democrat and one Republican – are likely to win their parties’ nominations on March 20th. Are either of these candidates committed to a constitutional government or are they committed to corrupt government?” asked Stufflebeam. “The time is right for a candidate who is committed to the three pillars of Integrity, Liberty, & Prosperity and a constitutionally correct government and that candidate is William J. Kelly. He was born and raised in Illinois. William Kelly has demonstrated his passion for truth and has stood up over and over again against the corruption in both parties – Democrat and Republican. He is a proven fighter who has fought for Illinois taxpayers and their families for twenty years and he will continue to fight for all of us at the ballot box in November. The Constitution Party of Illinois is proud to nominate William J. Kelly as our candidate for Governor.”

“I am very proud and honored to be part of the Constitution Party of Illinois’ effort to rebuild Illinois and our country, state by state,” said William J. Kelly. “This year marks Illinois’ bicentennial and after 200 years, the two major parties have all but destroyed our State, but not our hopes and dreams. At a Chicago meeting in 1860, a little known third party nominated Abraham Lincoln to be its candidate for President. That third party was the Republican Party. Today, it’s time for a new third party and I am proud to be following in the footsteps of Illinois’ favorite son, President Abraham Lincoln.”

Chad Koppie has also been nominated to be Kelly’s running mate for Lt. Governor.


The Constitution Party is the fifth largest political party in the United States. It is a socially and fiscally conservative party that makes frequent mention of the Founding Fathers throughout its platform. Read more about the Constitution Party’s platform here.

The Illinois Constitution Party will need to collect 25,000 signatures to get on the ballot. Democrats and Republicans require just 5,000.

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2018 Election

Pritzker hounded by reported tax evasion schemes in final debate before primary election



Illinois’ Democratic candidates for governor used their last public debate before the primary to pound front-runner J.B. Pritzker on his secret offshore tax holdings.

On the day of the Democrats’ final debate before the March 20 primary, the Chicago Tribune released an investigation showing another of Pritzker’s various offshore companies is working on purchasing land from the city of Chicago.

The billionaire heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune has been dodging Chicago Tribune reporters seeking a comment about newly discovered offshore holdings of his being tied to a potential purchase of land owned by the city of Chicago, according to the Tribune.

Throughout the debate hosted by WTTW’s Chicago Tonight, Pritzker repeated that any divestments from his Hyatt inheritance go to his philanthropic organizations, splitting the slight difference between a trust and a company.

“There were trusts created generations ago. I don’t receive any distributions from those trusts. Those distributions go to charity,” he said.

Records leaked from an offshore law firm that have become known as the Paradise Papers show Pritzker has formed offshore companies as recently as 2011.

The paper reports Moreau Capital Holdings Ltd., which is owned by Pritzker and was created in the Bahamas, is part of a deal with his brother, Robert, to purchase the riverfront land. They reportedly aim to sell duck boat tours out of the location. Pritzker said the paper was incorrect.

State Sen. Daniel Biss was the first to pounce.

“J.B. Pritzker set up companies offshore, probably to avoid taxes, and spent the entire last year lying about it,” Biss said.

Chris Kennedy, a Chicago businessman and son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, said Pritzker’s dishonesty should disqualify him.

“We’re interviewing for a job to be the next governor of the state of Illinois,” Kennedy said. “You should never hire someone who lies to you during a job interview because if they’ll lie to you to get the job, they’ll lie to you to keep the job.”

Pritzker and Kennedy went after Biss’ support for a pension reform bill that would eventually be shot down in the courts. Kennedy took heat over comments that were seen as supportive of taxing retirement income.

All three gave varying degrees of dissatisfaction with House Speaker Michael Madigan and his handling of an ongoing harassment allegations on his watch.

Illinois’ primary elections are Tuesday.

The winner of the Democratic primary will face either Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner or his GOP primary opponent, Rep. Jeanne Ives.


Article by Cole Lauterbach. For more Illinois News Network content, visit Image courtesy of BlueRoomStream. Gubernatorial candidates J.B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy and Daniel Biss participate in the last Democratic debate before the March 20 Primary Election.

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2018 Election

Morgan County League of Women of Voters hold candidate forum in Jacksonville

Thomas Clatterbuck



from left: Rients, Miller, Deters, Rodriguez, Petty, Johnson, Carmody, Davidsmeyer

Nearly all candidates in contested races in Morgan County came out to attend one of the last forums before the March 20th primary. They answered questions in a packed Jacksonville City Council chamber. Over 50 people were in attendance.

Of the nine candidates invited, only Rep. Darin LaHood was unable to attend. He is currently serving in Washington. The candidates who could make it included:

  • Donald Rients, a Republican running in the 18th Congressional District
  • Darrel Miller, a Democrat running in the 18th
  • Brian Deters, a Democrat running in the 18th
  • Junius Rodriguez, a Democrat running in the 18th
  • Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, a Republican running in the 100th Illinois House District
  • Jonas Petty, a Republican running in the 100th Illinois House District
  • Chris “CJ” Johnson, a Republican running for Morgan County Sheriff
  • Mike Carmody, a Republican running for Morgan County Sheriff

There were few surprises from any of the candidates on any of the questions. However there were some. Both Miller and Deters expressed pro-life sentiments for their personal views; but were pro-choice from a policy standpoint. On the same question about the sanctity of life, Petty said we need to get the root of the abortion issue, and supported better economic opportunities and sex education to reduce abortions.

Both Sheriff candidates also expressed concerns about body cameras. While they saw the utility, they spoke about how unclear the law is at this point. This includes protecting suspects’ and other individuals’ fourth and fifth amendment rights. Additionally, storing the footage and providing Freedom of Information Act access for the footage is far more expensive than the cameras themselves. But throughout the evening, both said their job was to enforce and follow the law, not to make policy.

All of the candidates opposed a mandate on arming teachers. Rients and Petty were open to the option, and Miller said it was a local issue, not a federal one. Johnson warned about the change of mindset that comes with carrying a firearm and distractions that would cause teachers. Carmody opposed a mandate, but said he would enforce it if it was a law.

To learn more about the candidates in the 18th congressional district or the 100th House district, you can check out our campaign headquarters pages.

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